Characteristics of referred patients with twin-twin transfusion syndrome who did not undergo fetal therapy

Prenat Diagn. 2019 Mar;39(4):280-286. doi: 10.1002/pd.5427. Epub 2019 Feb 20.


Introduction: Abundant research has reported twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) outcomes following fetal therapy. Our research describes TTTS patients who did not undergo fetal therapy.

Methods: Records from TTTS pregnancies evaluated at 16 to 26 gestational weeks were reviewed between January 2006 and March 2017. The study population comprised subjects who did not undergo fetal therapy. Based on initial consultation, patients were grouped as nonsurgical vs surgical candidates. TTTS progression and perinatal outcomes were assessed.

Results: Of 734 TTTS patients evaluated, 68 (9.3%) did not undergo intervention. Of these, 62% were nonsurgical candidates and 38% were surgical candidates. Nonsurgical candidates were ineligible for treatment because of fetal demise or maternal factors (placental abruption, severe membrane separation, and preterm labor). Of surgical candidates, 11 underwent expectant management, eight elected pregnancy termination, and seven planned fetal intervention but had a complication before the procedure. TTTS progression occurred in 10 (15.2%) of 66 cases. Neonatal survival in 64 cases was as follows: in 41 (64%), no survivors; in 11 (17.2%), one survivor; and in 12 (18.8%), two survivors.

Conclusion: Nine percent of referred TTTS patients did not undergo fetal therapy, with many ineligible because of morbidity between referral and consultation. Studies of TTTS should acknowledge this subgroup and circumstances leading to lack of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Fetal Mortality
  • Fetal Therapies* / methods
  • Fetal Therapies* / mortality
  • Fetal Therapies* / statistics & numerical data
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / epidemiology*
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / pathology
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / surgery*
  • Fetoscopy / mortality
  • Fetoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult